Do beans really carry magic? Just ask Jack and what happened with his.
While refried beans won’t make beanstalks stretch into the skies, they certainly carry a magic of their own – FLAVOR!A wonderfully thick and creamy consistency with hints of onion, garlic, mild chiles and cotija cheese, not only are my homemade refried beans the perfect side to any Mexican dish, but they can make a wonderful and satisfying meal on their own!
What’s more, they couldn’t be easier to make thanks to the Instant Pot – a true one stop shop!
Here’s How I Made It!:
Let’s start with a spanish onion…
…and mince it up.
Then, let’s take 4 cloves of garlic…
…and crush ’em and then chop ’em.
Take a can of diced green chiles…
…and add them to the onions and garlic.
Then we’ll add some canola oil to the Instant Pot…
…along with some bacon grease (if you have it in your fridge from days of bacon past. If not, just use a little more oil).
Once the pot is hot, add in the veggies and stir in with the oil.
Let it set and stir for about 5 minutes.
Now we’ll add in some water…
…some dried Pinto beans…
…a few bay leaves…
…and stir. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure. The cooking and release process will take about an hour of time so relax or run a quick errand in the meantime!
Once the lid comes off, it will start to have that familiar refried bean look.
Discard the bay leaves.
Then grab a potato masher…
…and begin mashing the beans to the desired consistency. (You can also remove some of the liquid before mashing to alter the thickness of the beans and then slowly add in while mashing).
I like mine so there’s a good mix between mashed beans and some still left in tact to make that perfect balance of a smooth/creamy consistency with some chunky beans still retained.
Now let’s put on some final touches by adding in a little more kosher salt…
…some seasoned salt…
…and (our secret ingredient!) some crumbled cotija cheese!
Mix it all together well…
…transfer to a serving bowl…
…and enjoy it with any dish such as tacos, burritos, nachos, my Mexican Street Corn or even on their own!
- 1/4 cup of canola or vegetable oil (OR 1/8 cup of the oil and 1 tbsp of bacon grease if you have reserved in your fridge)
- 1 large Spanish onion, minced
- 4 cloves of smashed and minced garlic
- 4 oz can of green chiles, with their juices
- 2 cups of Pinto beans, dried (not the ones in a can)
- 4 cups of water
- 1.5 tsp of kosher salt, divided
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp of seasoned salt
- 1 cup of crumbled cotija cheese
- Add the oil (and bacon grease, if using) to the Instant Pot and hit “Sauté” and adjust so it’s on the “High” or “More” setting. Once it reads “Hot,” add in the onions, garlic and green chiles. Give it all a good stir and then let it set while stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the water followed by the Pinto beans, 1 tsp of kosher salt and bay leaves. Give it all a good stir, secure the lid and hit “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” High Pressure for 35 minutes. Allow a 30 minute natural release and then follow with a quick release, if the pin hasn’t already dropped
- When the lid comes off, discard the bay leaves. It may appear a little watery right now but that’s about to change. Using a potato masher and leaving the water in the pot, mash the beans to the desired consistency directly in the pot (the more/harder the mashing, the less chunky and more smooth the beans will be). NOTE: The thickness level is up to you here. If you want to control the thickness, you can remove some of the liquid with a serving spoon before mashing the beans and then add some of it back in while mashing to bring the thickness level to your satisfaction. But remember, the more the beans cool, the more they will thicken on their own!
- Add in the other 1/2 tsp of kosher salt, seasoned salt and the cotija cheese. Stir well until blended in and transport to a serving bowl. Goes GREAT with any dish such as tacos, burritos, nachos and my Mexican Street Corn! Hey, they’re also great on their own!
The thickness level is up to you here and you are the master of your mash! The more you mash the beans, the smoother/less chunky they’ll be so take heed before you begin mashing! If you want to control the thickness, you can remove some of the liquid with a serving spoon before mashing the beans and then add some of it back in while mashing to bring the thickness level to your satisfaction. But remember, the more the beans cool, the more they will thicken on their own!
If you want it vegetarian, just use the oil and not the bacon grease. If you want it vegan, do the same and leave out the cheese.
Serve this with my Mexican Street Corn as terrific companions!